Author(s): Amir Hossein Davoudian Talab, Gholamreza Azari, Gholamreza Badfar, Asrin Shafeei, Zainab Derakhshan
Background: During the last two decades, computer use has rapidly increased. In 2000, 80% of workers stated that they use computers in their daily activities. Computer use is associated with several health risks: for example, for computer users, the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders is between 10% and 60%. In this study, we investigated the risk of musculoskeletal disorders by the Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) and the Rapid Office Strain Assessment (ROSA) methods. We surveyed the correlation of these methods and evaluated their predictive ability in the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders among office workers. Methods: This analytic-descriptive study was performed in 2016 at Behbahan University of Medical Sciences and the Imam Khomeini Port Office. The sample consisted of 236 office workers who were selected by the simple random sampling method. Body map questionnaires as well as RULA and ROSA checklists were used for data collection. Inclusion criteria were at least 1 year of experience working and computer use for at least 3 hours a day; exclusion criteria were having a musculoskeletal disorder unrelated to the job, having an existing job-related musculoskeletal disorder, and any other underlying disorder. Data were analyzed with SPSS software, version 22; statistical analysis was performed with the one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) test, Pearson’s correlation coefficient, and the chi-squared test. Results: We found that most musculoskeletal disorders were related to the trunk, neck, and back regions by 40.4%, 39.7%, and 35.4%, respectively. Mostly, distribution of risk score in ROSA method is at warning level (67.2%) and in the RULA method at high and very high levels (62%). The Pearson test showed a positive significant correlation between these methods (P<0.05). The chi-squared test showed a significant correlation between musculoskeletal disorders in the upper and lower limbs with the RULA method (P<0.05), but no significant relationship was observed with the ROSA method (P>0.05). The one-way ANOVA test showed a significant relationship between the risk of musculoskeletal disorders and sex (P<0.05); it did not, however, show a significant relationship with job experience and education (P>0.05). Conclusion: To predict the risk of musculoskeletal disorders, the RULA method is superior to the ROSA method.